PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - UPDATE 12/23/13
Plans for a community center in Prestonsburg are moving forward.
The City Council approved the purchase of land next to City Hall for one million dollars.
It was a tie, 4-4 vote...causing Mayor Jerry Fannin to use his tie breaker vote.
Fannin says discussions at the SOAR meeting in Pikeville helped motivate him to move forward on the project. "It is going to take people to step out to get your community to grow, because if we don't we are going to start going backwards," says Fannin.
The other possible location was at the community college. Fannin says the land next to City Hall is right in the middle of town and will hopefully draw more people into Prestonsburg, creating more business for local stores and restaurants.
ORIGINAL STORY 5/27/13
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Plans are moving forward for a community center in Prestonsburg. City Council members say the next step is picking out and purchasing property to build the new facility.
Council members say they've been discussing a community center for awhile and believe it is something their community wants but more importantly needs. Mayor Jerry Fannin says, "In this area, you can look at the whole United States, this area...obesity. It is one of the highest levels in the country. So we are looking at something everyone can benefit from and make a healthier community. Something for kids to do in the evening and summer time because there's not a whole lot for them to do".
Tentative plans have been drawn for one of the proposed sites, the old Prestonsburg Elementary property. That property sits next to City Hall and officials say that particular site is already prepared for construction. Council member, David Gearheart says, "Paying the extra money now would be justified by having somebody else already do the land prep and coming in and tearing the building down."
Council members say some of the things they hope to include in the community center are a gymnasium, swimming pool, shooting range, weight rooms, a walking track, and party rooms.
Mayor Fannin says, "We've done the feasibility study and it looks like that's a go as far as being able to keep it running once we get it up, so we are hoping everything will start moving forward here in the next few weeks."
Once property is purchased officials say they then will apply for grant money and make more detailed plans for the center. City Council members say another location that was discussed is at the Big Sandy Community and Technical College.